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Death Studies

Ruth McManus, Tony Walter, Leon Claridge
The article asks whether disasters that destroy life but leave the material infrastructure relatively intact tend to prompt communal coping focussing on loss, while disasters that destroy significant material infrastructure tend to prompt coping through restoration / re-building. After comparing memorials to New Zealand's Christchurch earthquake and Pike River mine disasters, we outline circumstances in which collective restorative endeavour may be grassroots, organised from above, or manipulated, along with limits to effective restoration...
August 17, 2017: Death Studies
Evangelia Karydi
This study investigated the relationship between the role of the surviving parent in the child's grieving process, the continuing bond with the deceased parent and biopsychosocial functioning and active grief in adulthood. A survey of 135 adults, parentally bereaved in childhood, indicated that the surviving parent's role in facilitating the grieving process promoted a positive continuing bond with the deceased in childhood as well as general functioning in adulthood. The continuing bond with the deceased had a weak association with both better general functioning and relational active grief...
August 17, 2017: Death Studies
Jonathan Beyrak-Lev, Zach Gerber, Tsachi Ein-Dor, Gilad Hirschberger
Death awareness leads to aversion from bodily processes such as breastfeeding and sex, especially among low body esteem individuals. Using a modality bias task, we examined whether primes of death reduced attention to bodily sensations. We subliminally primed 72 undergraduates with either the word death or failed and assessed their attention to tactile and visual stimuli as a function of their body esteem. Results indicated that death primes significantly reduced attention to tactile stimuli relative to visual stimuli in low body esteem individuals...
August 10, 2017: Death Studies
Kathy McKay, Fiona Shand
High quality mental healthcare after a suicide attempt is a key strategy for preventing subsequent suicide attempts and deaths, yet little is known about how people navigate the healthcare system following a suicide attempt. This paper focuses on the stories told by 20 people who had attempted suicide. Five themes emerged: fitting into the healthcare system; need for advocacy; consistent care; lucky to find help; and, small kindnesses. Positive and empathetic healthcare experiences, as well as connected services, assisted the recovery of people who have attempted suicide...
July 27, 2017: Death Studies
Danai Papadatou, T Bellali, K Tselepi, I Giannopoulou
This mixed method study investigated the short- and long-term effects of peer loss on eight adolescents after a fatal school bus accident. Phenomenological analysis of their retrospective narratives revealed three patterns (living in despair, collecting my pieces, remembering, and moving on). Quantitative findings indicate progressive decrease in post-traumatic stress symptoms severity across time; increase in positive changes in perceptions of self, others, and life between 18 and 34 months; and stable continuing bond with the deceased peers...
July 20, 2017: Death Studies
Jeylan Wolyie Hussein
The paper is an inquiry into the poetics of mourning and faith-based intervention in maladaptive grieving processes in Ethiopia. The paper discusses the ways that loss is signified and analyzes the meanings of ethnocultural and psychospiritual practices employed to deal with maladaptive grief processes and their psychological and emotional after-effects. Hermeneutics provided the methodological framework and informed the analysis. The thesis of the paper is that the poetics of mourning and faith-based social interventions are interactionally based meaning making processes...
July 19, 2017: Death Studies
Thomas Dellmann
Although many single factors of prolonged grief have been identified in the literature, a comprehensive understanding of predictors is still lacking. This article argues that shame and low self-esteem, present risk factors in prolonged grief after spousal loss, based on a review of correlational studies. Using a practitioner-scientist approach, a developmental model of shame as a core factor in prolonged grief is proposed, outlining the progression from childhood relational trauma, to insecure attachment, shame, self-esteem contingent on spousal approval to eventual prolonged grief...
July 13, 2017: Death Studies
John R Jordan
This article provides an introduction to this special issue of Death Studies on suicide postvention. The articles in the issue are derived from a document released by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, titled Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress after Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines. The article provides data and a rationale for considering suicide as a serious public health issue in the USA and around the world, and the need for postvention after a suicide occurs. A brief description of each of the articles in the special issue then follows...
July 5, 2017: Death Studies
Sherman A Lee
The present study examined the validity of deriving a global or general measure of grief from the Persistent Complex Bereavement Inventory using an on-line survey of 180 bereaved adults. Confirmatory factor analyzes indicated that a hierarchical factor structure best fit the data such that an overarching, general grief factor accounted for the covariation among three first-order symptom clusters. The construct validity of this grief factor was further supported by correlations with related variables such as negative religious coping, neuroticism, meaning-made, and post-traumatic growth...
July 5, 2017: Death Studies
John P Rosenberg, Debbie Horsfall, Rosemary Leonard, Kerrie Noonan
Most people indicate their preference to die at home; however, in the developed world, most die in hospital. Dying at home requires complex factors to be in place in health services and informal networks of care to successfully provide support. This study examines the ways health systems, services, and individual health care professionals influence care at home at the end of life. Three principles guide the reorientation of health services and enable their transition from hindrance to help: re-evaluation of organisational values, recognition of the primacy of caring networks, and realignment of the inherent paternalism in health care provision...
July 5, 2017: Death Studies
Lonneke I M Lenferink, Jos de Keijser, Eline Piersma, Paul A Boelen
Twenty-three nonclinical relatives of long-term missing persons were interviewed. Patterns of functioning over time were studied retrospectively by instructing participants to draw a graph that best described their pattern. Patterns most frequently drawn were a recovery and resilient/stable pattern. Participants were also asked to select 5 out of 15 cards referring to coping strategies, which they considered most helpful in dealing with the disappearance. Acceptance, emotional social support, mental disengagement, and venting emotions were most frequently chosen...
June 30, 2017: Death Studies
Edward C Chang, Olivia D Chang, Támas Martos, Viola Sallay, Xiaoqing Li, Abigael G Lucas, Jerin Lee
The present study investigated loneliness and optimism as predictors of suicide risk, specifically, depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, in 457 Hungarian college students. Beyond the expected role of loneliness in suicide risk, being optimistic buffered the positive association between loneliness and suicide. The findings implicate the importance of fostering optimism for potentially lowering suicide risk among lonely college students.
June 28, 2017: Death Studies
Martin Lytje
This study explored how Danish students experienced returning to school following parental bereavement. Eighteen focus group interviews were conducted with 39 participants aged 9 to 17. All participants had experienced the loss of a primary caregiver. Data collection was divided into two phases. In Phase I, 22 participants from four grief groups were interviewed 4 times over the course of a year. During Phase II, confirmatory focus groups were undertaken with the 17 participants. This article explores the findings related to ideas and suggestions made by the students about how the Danish school response could be improved to better meet their needs...
June 28, 2017: Death Studies
Michael J Kral, Jonathan Morris, Jennifer White
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 28, 2017: Death Studies
Claire N Bryson, Robert J Cramer, Adam T Schmidt
The present article investigates the traumatic brain injury (TBI)-suicide link, assessing whether (a) TBI accounts for variance in suicide risk, and (b) the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide can be applied to TBI status. Matched case-control procedures applied to archival college student health data identified TBI and non-TBI subsamples (84 total). Individuals with a TBI possessed higher suicide risk than those without. Even accounting for the relative influence of strong suicide risk factors (i...
August 2017: Death Studies
Edward C Chang
This study investigated whether hopelessness and dispositional hope predict suicide ideation in 395 Hungarian college students. Both hopelessness and hope uniquely predicted suicide ideation, a pattern that remained unchanged even after controlling for psychological symptoms. Moreover, a significant Hopelessness × Hope interaction predicted suicide ideation. Present findings highlight how hope buffers the association between hopelessness and suicide risk in college students.
August 2017: Death Studies
Mami Kasahara-Kiritani, Mari Ikeda, Noriko Yamamoto-Mitani, Kiyoko Kamibeppu
This study aimed to develop a conceptual framework of the experience of persons who have lost a family member to suicide in Japan. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with 24 such family members. They conceptualized their experience as a process of regaining my new life. Initially, their lives were out of their hands, but gradually they learned striving skills and recuperative conditioning, and integrated the skills to regain their lives. Some participants eventually reached a state of living a redefined life...
August 2017: Death Studies
Nathan Greene, Katie McGovern
Findings from an online survey of 350 adults who experienced early parental death showed that current dispositional gratitude was positively correlated with psychological well-being and posttraumatic growth and negatively correlated with depression. Further, 281 participants produced textual responses indicating they could remember the time following their parent's death. Increases in gratitude attributable to the experience of losing a parent were reported by 79% of these participants. They associated their increased gratitude with a newfound belief that life is precious and with greater appreciation for loved ones...
August 2017: Death Studies
Dariusz Galasiński
The article is a critique of a study of language of suicide notes. It raises the issue of the acontextual approach to language and suggests that suicide notes and their language must be seen within the social context in which they are written. Moreover, the article challenges the assumption that suicide notes have only a representational function. Instead, it argues that they can serve a host of other communicative purposes.
August 2017: Death Studies
Annika Jonsson, Tony Walter
Where do people feel closest to those they have lost? This article explores how continuing bonds with a deceased person can be rooted in a particular place or places. Some conceptual resources are sketched, namely continuing bonds, place attachment, ancestral places, home, reminder theory, and loss of place. The authors use these concepts to analyze interview material with seven Swedes and five Britons who often thought warmly of the deceased as residing in a particular place and often performing characteristic actions...
August 2017: Death Studies
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